Chatting with 2021’s ABDA Awards Shortlister, Angela Huang
We have once again put our support behind the Australian Book Design Awards this year sponsoring the Best Student Design Awards—Series. With the finalists to be announced in late June we wanted to have a chat with each of the talented designer’s that were chosen as finalists in this category including Frances Peck, Kespa Katsuk, Celia Mance, Angela Huang and Daphne Kok.
Let's chat with Angela Huang!
Tell us a little bit about who you are
Hello! My name is Angela, and I’m a Chinese-Australian graphic designer based in Melbourne. I’m also a lover of movies, poetry, and the art of horror.
How did you get into design?
I grew up with a prominent love for illustration, but through time I found myself becoming fascinated with different mediums of visual storytelling – including photography, film, video games, and graphic design. It’s the thoughtful crafting of narrative and meaning that drew me into the field of design, which is very all-encompassing and allows me the freedom to explore multiple avenues of creative interest.
What made you start getting into book design?
Honestly, as a visually oriented person I was always more interested in films than books. Book design never really crossed my mind until my second year of uni when I enrolled in a cover art studio class. Suddenly, I’ve been introduced a whole new design field that I fell irrevocably in love with. There’s just something so intimate about it all. The physicality of these stories in book form makes for a much more immersive design process and overall storytelling experience. The bookstore is now my favourite place to be.
What was the inspiration and thought process behind your book cover?
The brief required a series of three book covers for selected works of the late Australian poet J.S. Harry. Charmed by her organic and whimsical writing style, I challenged myself with a photographic approach to capture her surrealist perception of the natural world. I thought that if I forced myself to get intimate with these wild and gritty textures, I could see things from her eyes and find the beauty in it all. Abstract colour grading was then used in a transformative editing process to highlight these lyrical intricacies. As a result, we have a series of alluring textures grounded in nature. Handwritten typography was used to compliment this imagery with a human touch, along with fragments of her poetry on the back covers – a peek into the curious world of J.S. Harry.
What’s been happening in design for you since you entered?
I recently joined The Swanston Gazette, a student-run publication at RMIT. My role as a designer on the team means overlooking the graphic design aspects of the publication, as well as providing illustrations and images for articles. It’s an exciting experience and a great opportunity for bu[fourcl] Here goes your content [/fourcl]ilding up my portfolio. Other than that, I am now fostering a new relationship with typography, improving my understanding, and getting braver with experimentation.